Charlotte dropped three questions on LHL at once recently: what is the

population of Lancashire, what is the largest town in the county and what do

Lancastrians call bread rolls?

Well….I have actually been waiting for some of these questions and of course

there never is a simple answer is there? The difficulty lies in the designation of

what comprises the county of Lancashire, a question made fraught and

complex by the introduction of the Local Government Act of 1972, which on

April Fool’s Day, (an appropriate date nonetheless) 1974, introduced the new

local authorities of Merseyside and Greater Manchester. Now, brushing aside

the mundane wherewithal of local authorities’ internal responsibilities for

public services and the emptying of dustbins etc and even accepting that many

scousers and mancunians no doubt have some form of local identity…… when

Lancashire plays Yorkshire at cricket, which side do these big city inhabitants of

our county relate to and support? I think we all know the answer to that one.

Once this crucial question is answered and confirmed as, ‘Lancashire’, then we

can move on to provide Charlotte with the two different sets of statistics;

bearing in mind that all statistics are prone to irregularities and updates, then

the following approximations hold true:

Statistics 1, not incorporating Merseyside and Greater Manchester: the

population of Lancashire in 2011 was approximately 1,498,300. The largest

town being Bolton with approximately 280,400 people.

Statistics 2, incorporating all Lancastrian towns and cities: the population of

Lancashire in 2011 was 4,942,364. The largest urban sprawl being Greater

Manchester with 2,835,686 people.

As for the bread roll, just like with pies, Lancastrians do appear to become most

guarded and ferociously bias when it comes to naming their foodstuffs. From

Colne in the north east, to Burscough in the south west of the county, the

variation of names given to the humble bread roll can differ markedly from one

village to the next. In our quick ring round survey we uncovered the humble

bread roll was known as; a barm, a bap, a cob, an ovan bottom, a teacake and

a rowie, not to mention a few rather lewd and unpronounceable little

interpretations. Either way, when they are fresh and warm, they are always

great for ‘dunking’ in hot tomato soup or for making great chip butties. What

do you like on your bap Charlotte? Drop us a line anytime!

Peter John Fyles

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